Thursday, July 20, 2017

MLB’s wildcard has teams dying to avoid it

Why wildcard entrants in a one-game system instead of a series is baseball’s best idea. By Kyle Magin Stephen Piscotty almost died trying to avoid the MLB wildcard game by expressly not avoiding his teammate. The Cardinals outfielder dove into fellow outfielder Peter Borjous’ knee in an attempt to corral a Pittsburgh Pirates’ pop-fly on Monday and went down in a...

Yogi Berra took a little piece of heaven with him

“Mr. Berra,” his first Yankee manager Casey Stengel once said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.” He died Tuesday at age 90. By Andrew Pridgen I don’t believe in heaven. Not the kind they try to sell you on TV, anyway. There is no life in the clouds, no harps to greet you, no 24-hour Angel food cake...

Barry Zito should have quit, but he didn’t

In every unironic way imaginable I am a Barry Zito apologist. The possibility of a Hudson/Zito reunion/match-up in Oakland next Saturday (9/26) for me is orbiting somewhere in the same solar system as being invited to the closed-door Creed/Balboa bout or standing next to Fredo in that weird Cuban sex club and discovering he’s the worst brother ever or...

Baseball isn’t fair

A recent trip to the Midwest has Kyle Magin reeling from the pitiable probability of an early playoff exit for Pittsburgh or Chicago. By Kyle Magin If form holds in the National League Central, baseball is about to give you a tantalizing look at what will never be this week because it’s a sport built upon the corpses of its insufficiently-gestated...

Barry Bonds: Real-life misanthrope and social media genius

How did the most hated man in all of sport become the happiest guy on the internet? By Andrew Pridgen Barry Bonds has always been known for a kind of calculated obtuseness. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, when he came to prominence as the greatest hitter of his generation and arguably, all time, the media both in the Bay Area—and...

Don’t Pay for Production: The Tragedy of the Philadelphia Phillies

Now that baseball's messaging is being controlled by the MLB, the professional sport in the U.S. which relies most on its history seems to be turning its back on it in favor of...Process. By Kyle Magin Baseball’s a son of a bitch. The Philadelphia Phillies get mocked for paying for their 2008 World Series rings seven years later with the bloated, suffocating...

There’s no crying in A’s-ball

In Oakland, no change of ownership/no new stadium means no PSLs. No $18 sandwich at Crazy Crab'z. No weighty free-agent contracts. And a family of four can attend, eat (hot dog AND peanuts!) and drink for $60. Plus Barry Zito is on Alert-5 Aircraft in AAA Nashville. So who needs a goddamn trophy? By Andrew Pridgen When I was 12, the...

The Trinity of West Coast Baseball

Is this heaven? No, it's California. By Kyle Magin There’s a place, somewhere near the sun’s resting place, where baseball is still told as a story. Octogenarians and a sexagenarian do the telling in tasteful suits on TV and over the airwaves. They contextualize Yasiel Puig or Madison Bumgarner’s dazzling ability in baseball’s century-old saga with charming anecdotes woven in and...

Hunter Pence’s return is uncertain as is the Giants’ 2015 campaign

San Francisco’s emotional and statistical leader is sidelined till August. But will he be the same when he gets back in the lineup? By Andrew Pridgen Unless they can steal one on Sunday Night Baseball, the Giants are in danger of finishing a six-game East Coast swing winless; losing three close games in Miami before wilting in the crushing humidity of...

Down with Wet Newspapers

The game has evolved. Maybe it’s time for DH haters to evolve too. By Kyle Magin National League loyalists fetishize pitchers hitting. Their backwards-ass rule requiring pitchers to hit instead of allowing a stronger, professional designated hitter to step into the box is worn like a badge of honor with the NL set. They will tell you their league never evolved because...

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Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are getting paid handsomely to...

Do not pay attention to their words. Do not watch their fight. By Andrew J. Pridgen There are racists, there are homophobes, there are small-minded...

As Oakland parts out its team once more, Billy Beane’s legacy...

Oakland is in the midst of its second purge in three seasons. The difference this time is EVP of baseball operations Billy Beane hints...

California Baseball Weekly: Seller Dwellers

Every week during the 2017 season, we’ll check in with California’s five MLB teams. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who has the cheapest ticket this...

Bettors be advised to take the Dodgers at 3-1 to win...

It’s as close to a sure thing as anything this side of the Russians interfering. By Andrew J. Pridgen There are no secrets left in...

The rise and fall of Pablo Sandoval

It takes a village to raise a Panda. That’s a lesson it took the San Francisco Giants more than a half decade to learn....